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Masslive: What are the ethical responsibilities journalists have when reaching out to students on social media for stories? The issue came up at the tail end of a panel discussion on the media and civic engagement organized by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau at the College of the Holy Cross this morning.
Worcester Superintendent of Schools Melinda Boone questioned media tactics in contacting students through social media when working on stories. Boone said she had a screen shot from a local reporter asking students from Doherty High School to direct message the reporter about a story they were working on. It wasn’t a direct message to any student, it was a call-out from the reporter saying, if you want to be heard, here’s where to reach us. The callout didn’t come from MassLive, but we’ve used such posts before.
Dr. Boone questioned media tactics? Ummm, this is the same lady who hired a spokesperson to speak to the media for her. This is a woman who has aligned herself with Spanky McFarlane. This is a woman who shut the media out of a public safety meeting at North High School. But please, tell me more about journalistic ethics.
But seriously, this is a woman who is allowing one of her principals to cyberbully and call her teachers racist, and what’s she doing? Checking out what the media is doing on Twitter.
Look, we all know who this was directed at – Turtleboy. She loves to take little jabs at the Turtle whenever she can. Because she knows that students are gonna tell the media that her action plan is about as legitimate as an Old Balls blog. You know how I know she’s talking about us? Because we posted this last week:
The reason we put this out there is we believe that people who are actually IN THE BUILDING would offer a better perspective on race relations than the Coming Together Circlejerk. And after all, it was Lisa Dyer who said in plain English that kids at North High think their teachers are racist:
Harvey suggests that our students are pained to read hogwash that suggests our teachers are prejudiced in any way – yet I have heard from many students and some staff otherwise.
So yea, clearly Melinda Boone and Lisa Dyer didn’t like that we were soliciting honest responses from their students because they knew their bullshit would be contradicted. And just like we thought, the answers we received DIRECTLY contradict everything Boone and Dyer have said about North High and Janice Harvey. Here’s one:
Hello my name is Bryanna and I am currently a junior at North High School. This is now my second year there. I don’t mind if you use my name cause I’ll write it all over the world for what I have to say! Anyways teachers at North are not racist! Especially Janice Harvey! I am in her 3rd period English class. She is a wonderful teacher who cares for all her students and she is always there for anyone who needs help. For example I was in a situation where I had to be out of school for almost two months, maybe a little more. And when I came back she really helped me to get me caught up so I can graduate with my class in 2016! In my opinion I believe Lisa Dyer should be fired and we should get a new principal because it seems like she hasn’t been doing anything positive. I see the assistant principals do more then she ever has. She needs to be gone already! But like I said none of the teachers at north are racist.
I liked this one too:
As a former student who is native American and Puerto Rican, teachers are definitely color blind which is fine, I’m more of a minority than most and it wasn’t a problem for me
Oh look, a student of color who isn’t offended by the term “color-blind.” But, but, but, upper-middle class white people like Chris Robarge and Kevin Ksen said that you’re SUPPOSED to be offended by this!! Don’t these students realize that they’re supposed to do what whitey tells them to do?
My name is Breanna, a student from North High School. I am a senior and I have been here for all four years and I have received nothing but excellent education and a wonderful experience. Let me give you some facts. The minority is the majority. Our school is anything but racist. We have so many different races it is stupid to say we are racist in any way. The teachers are diverse as well, though some have said we only have white teachers. How about we visit the school before we state
“facts?” I have seen many comments referring to how teachers may be disrespectful to students of color. Let me explain how it really works. Teachers do not start the year off saying they don’t like this color or that. No. What they DO do is they say that they are aggravated or upset with this student because they do not do their work, they do not follow the rules, or they are disrespectful when asked to do something. Let me tell you an experience I witnessed first hand. A “student” (really a kid who didn’t want an education) was walking down the hall during class, with a hat, hoodie, and headphones on. My teacher went into the hall, tapped on his shoulder (because he didn’t hear her say “excuse me” because he had headphones on) and what he did next disgusted me. He swung around and yelled at her: “Don’t fucking touch me you stupid bitch!” Now, this kid happened to be black. Does this make my teacher racist for trying to get him to follow the rules? Remember what I said earlier about my school, the minority being the majority. The reason why so many “students of color” are getting in Trouble is because they make up most of our school. Now I am not saying white kids don’t get in trouble either, they do. But what is noticed the most is people of one or two races because there are more of them! I don’t understand how people don’t see this! What kills me the most is the parents. They criticize teachers for their kids getting in trouble. I would love to see them secretly follow their kid(s) around and see what they really do. Maybe then they wouldn’t play what I call the black card. “It’s because I’m black” is a term I hear every day. Absolutely disgusting. You are not in trouble because you are Back, White, Asian, Hispanic, or even everything in one, you get in trouble if you are disrespectful. north is not racist at all, and if you have any further questions please email me back. I will be more then happy to explain anything to you to save my school’s reputation.
Hold on just a second. A kid was blatantly violating school rules and a teacher asked them to stop!!! Sounds like SOMEONE isn’t aware of the cultural differences with their students. Way to be culturally aware you wacky 60 year old schoolmarms!!!You’re telling me the teachers do their jobs and enforce the rules REGARDLESS of the color of their student’s skin?? That sounds pretty racist to me. I even read about that once in Cultural Competency 101.
Then there was this response:
See that right there? That is what a North High education looks like when it’s utilized correctly. This kid obviously takes school seriously and goes to Harrington Way every day to learn. You know, like you’re SUPPOSED to do. The kid wants to be judged based on his merits!! Can you believe that? But here’s what Lisa Dyer said in her email:
We cannot be colorblind if we are to prepare all of our students for success in the real world.
Yea, how is this kid possibly gonna succeed in life? His teachers have been judging him based on his character and performance for the last four years!! The humanity!! And like Lisa Dyer said, the only way to prepare student for success in the “real world” is to constantly assess and judge them based on their race. She should know – she’s a white lady. Silly minority children with your wacky theories.
The ironic part about this is that it’s you ultimate hippie conundrum. Check out what noted hippie Mauro Depasquale had to say about it last week:
Yea, ya see Mauro, we do reach out to students here at Turtleboy Sports because unlike your girl Melinda we actually value what they have to say. But hey, keep up the great work running WCCA – Worcester’s finest source of quality programming:
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